It's a religious book without a doubt. But personally (and that's just my opinion) I don't think we should automatically assume everything written in the New Testament (and the old one for that matter) to be literally true.
Well, of course not - no more than we should for any other document. But it would be equally wrong to assume the historical information it contains is untrue just because it's a religious text. Rather it should be held to the same standards as everything else.
Not entirely. I'm not just saying there might
have been fiddled with the Canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), I'm saying we have reasons to positively suspect (!) there was
. What happened at the Council of Nicaea suggests just that. Especially since the whole idea of the Council was to pose a consequent system of dogmas and backstories as a support for the still young Church. Dropping most of the then known Gospels is one way to reach that goal, adapting the four remaining ones to their needs was another one, and one that was almost certainly used as well.
But once again, this is just a minor remark, and not entirely relevant for the discussion